Lankans should determine whether any have been successful – US Envoy

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In response to a question about whether the US Government considers the Hambantota Port to be a Chinese military base, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung stated that it is up to the Sri Lankans to determine whether any Chinese projects have been successful.

“Have Sri Lankans benefited from these projects? Have they actually experienced the advantages they were promised and how would you assess them? These are some factors really   need to be considered,” she said.  Meeting local journalists on 7 July she added, “That’s up to the Sri Lankan people to consider when they take investment projects and infrastructure projects from the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) and whether these projects are based on clear, transparent procurement practices, and establish good labour and environmental laws, and respect the environment and labour laws.

I think these are all determinations for the Sri Lankan people.  We understand that every country takes to trade and investment decisions based on a number of factors.  But investors want predictability, stability, and transparency if you want to attract more investment, more private sector investment.

They want to know that their contracts will be honoured and there won’t be bribes and corruption. I think that — and the broader sense of considering all those investments and how to attract more investments- all need to be considered”.  

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan